Beach Pro Tour - News

David Schweiner

“A successful season means being a bit better than last season,” David Schweiner told Volleyball World in an exclusive interview ahead of the upcoming new season on the beach. Well, the 29-year-old Czech blocker and his partner Ondrej Perusic became world champions in 2023. What could be a bit better than that? Hmm... David stopped just short of saying anything about it...

Unlike Perusic, who had some successful appearances in major age-category international competitions in his youth years, Schweiner appeared on the international beach volleyball stage relatively late, straight into the senior competitions, after he and Ondrej joined forces in 2016, when he was 21 years old.

Since then, Schweiner & Perusic have shown tremendous growth. Their first medal on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour was a Montpellier 1-star silver in 2017. The following year they got a 3-star silver in Mersin. Another year later, they made it to their first 4-star podium with yet another silver at home in Ostrava.

In March 2021, at the first four-star World Tour event after the coronavirus pandemic break, Schweiner & Perusic claimed their first gold, topping the podium in Doha. They picked up a couple of more high-level World Tour medals on the way to qualifying for their first Olympic Games.

However, a positive coronavirus test forced them to forfeit their first match at the Games in Tokyo and despite winning their second and pushing the reigning world champions at the time, Viacheslav Krasilnikov & Oleg Stoyanovskiy, to a tie-breaker in the third, the Czechs did not advance beyond the pool stage of the Olympic tournament.

Towards the end of that season, Perusic & Schweiner earned silver at the last-ever World Tour Finals in Cagliari, while the decision to end their professional beach volleyball journey was postponed for the time being, at least for another Olympic cycle. In 2022, they lost all four big finals they reached during the year, three on the inaugural Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour (Itapema Challenge, Ostrava Elite16, Gstaad Elite16) and one at the CEV European Championship in Munich to settle for four silver medals.

In 2023, however, they broke the silver “curse” with an Uberlandia Elite16 trophy in April and repeated that success at the Paris Elite16, just before the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship in Mexico, where they snatched the historic title, the first for them and for their country, while also qualifying for the Pars 2024 Olympic Games.

How is your off-season going? What have you been up to?

“It has been a hell of a season - very long, physically and mentally exhausting - so I decided to take a longer off-season than I normally do. I had not been on vacation for a long time and I hadn’t been on a honeymoon with my wife yet, so I had a very important task of planning and doing both. We went to Tanzania, spent time on the island of Zanzibar, observed the Indian Ocean and the surroundings, and went on a safari to the mainland of Tanzania. It was an unforgettable experience to see animals of the African savannah in their natural habitat. I really enjoyed it and had fun with my wife. In January, we already started our pre-season with physical preparation and a training camp in Tenerife. There is a lot of work ahead of us from many perspectives.”

What are some of the other fun things you've been doing outside beach volleyball?

“I have been playing golf and doing bouldering for fun. It is something different from beach volleyball and I think my beach volleyball can actually benefit from both of these sports. Apart from these, I have done a lot of walks with my dog and spent precious time with my family and friends. During our season it is very difficult to meet them often and I kind of make it more intensive, when I am home.”

Now, about four months after your World Championship title, what are the strongest memories from your time in Tlaxcala and back at home after that?

“The tournament itself was a great memory, of course, but the best so far was when we came back home. There was a full airport of people waiting for us and welcoming us, when we landed. Our friends, families and our fans were there for many hours. There was a Mexican band playing traditional music, some refreshments, the majority of the media in the Czech Republic were present. After our one-day-long trip home, we spent I think four hours meeting with fans, talking, taking photos and giving autographs. Everything was prepared in secret and none of our team members knew about it. Perun and I knew that there was something going on, but neither of us expected 500 people coming and putting together such a party. There were many things that followed, but this is the strongest memory and I wish every athlete can experience something similar.”

What are your immediate plans for the start of the 2024 season?

“There are many things we would like to improve and work on in preparation for season 2024. One of them is to work more on prevention of injuries and be better in planning preparation and rest, and make it work. So far, there has not been a season without an injury, while we are aware that once we are healthy, we can perform and beat the best teams in the world. Some parts of our game need a serious amount of upgrade, but this is something that we will keep to ourselves.”

What would make a successful 2024 season for you?

“Being healthy, getting some medals and performing at our best during the peak of the season. I believe in our preparation and I think if it goes well according to the plan, we can achieve good results. A successful season is, in my opinion, being a bit better than last season. It can be regarding physical status, game style, upgrades in our game, recovery... I believe, if there is an improvement and high effort, you are more likely to have similar or better results than last season.”

At the end of the previous Olympic cycle, you and Ondrej were debating whether or not to go through another one. I am sure you don't regret your decision to continue, but what comes after Paris?

“That is a very difficult question and many things can affect it, so that is why I cannot tell if we continue or not.”

If you could pick anybody in the world, other than Ondrej, as your beach partner, who would it be and why?

“I would love to try playing defence one day and that’s why I would pick one of the best blockers, who in my opinion are Anders Mol and Paolo Nicolai.”

Perusic/Schweiner vs. Åhman/Hellvig - Gold Match Highlights | Tlaxcala 2023 #mexbeachvolley

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